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Man jailed for choking in front of child

A Victorian man has been jailed for less than two years over a series of family violence offences, including choking his partner until she was unconscious.

September 30, 2022
By Emily Woods
30 September 2022

A child watched in horror as her mother was choked by her partner and then called triple zero when her mum became unconscious, a Victorian court has heard. 

When the woman eventually regained consciousness she ran outside and screamed for help, but her partner followed her, grabbed her and choked her again.

A 33-year-old Maryborough man was on Friday sentenced to less than two years in prison for a series of family violence offences he committed on the same partner over four years.

He appeared by video link in the County Court after pleading guilty to four assault charges, intentionally causing serious injury, damaging property and possessing a firearm over incidents between 2017 and 2021.

At least two of the crimes occurred in front of the woman’s child, the court heard.

In March 2020, the man became angry when his partner woke him to go to the toilet. He punched several holes in the wall and then put his hands around her neck and strangled her.

She tried to get him off, told him she could not breathe and he said “I don’t care” before letting her go.

He then choked her until she was unconscious in front of her daughter, after she had started packing her things.

When police arrived, he denied any violence and said his partner had been sick and the child was “acting out”. He was arrested and the house was searched, with an unloaded rifle and a box of ammunition found.

The child recorded an incident in March 2021, where the man swore at his partner and then strangled her.

“The recordings were played in court, I heard both yelling loudly – you sound aggressive, she sounded frightened,” Judge Michael Cahill said on Friday.

The woman said in a statement she had to relocate with her daughter to a safe house. She is seeing a psychologist due to trauma, continues to suffer nightmares and remains anxious and scared.

Her daughter said initially she thought the man was a “nice guy” but he began to make them feel bad about themselves and was controlling. She still suffers trust issues and worries about her mother.

Judge Cahill handed the man a 22-month prison sentence, including 18-months of pre-sentence detention.

“Family violence crimes are very serious. Your partner was vulnerable, you breached her trust and you caused her physical and emotional harm – you had no right to do that,” he said.

“That you committed some of these offences in the presence of her daughter and others while you were subjected to a community corrections order are aggravating features of your offending.”

He must serve a 15-month community correction order when he is released from prison and he must attend drug and behavioural programs.

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